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Belly Breathing

Science shows that taking deep diaphragmatic breaths (from the lower belly) lowers the heart rate, initiating the relaxation response. With diaphragmatic breaths, students are introduced to breathing.

Instructions for Belly Breathing

Materials: Hoberman Sphere (Breathing Sphere), Optional soft music/no lyrics

  1. Sit in a chair with feet on the ground, hip width apart.
  2. Lengthen through your spine and allow the shoulders to move away from your ears.
  3. Soften your eyes or close them if you are comfortable. Place your hands on your belly.
  4. Breathe into your belly so that your hands go up and down with the breath like waves on the ocean. Relax all your muscles to slow the breath even further.
  5. Slowly open your eyes and breathe with the Hoberman Sphere. We will breathe together 12 times. Breathing in, feel your belly expand and breathe out feel your belly go down… 11 more times…

Do a one-minute all-class breathing exercise at morning meeting, after recess, or between subjects. Remember to:

  • Turn off overhead lights.
  • Have the students sit up nice and tall.
  • Tell the students we are going to breathe together eight times.
  • Breathing in (three counts) and breathe out (three counts).
  • After eight to twelve deep breaths have them close their eyes and notice how the room feels and how their bodies feel.

Instructions for Tree Pose

Select a student to come up and model this pose while you give the directions.

  1. Stand up nice and tall and activate your muscles
  2. Find a focal point for your eyes.
  3. Shift your weight to one foot and pick up the other and place the lifted foot on the ankle, shin or inner thigh.
  4. Press palms together in front of the heart and activate your muscles.
  5. Press the standing leg down rooting yourself like a tree to the earth and reach your arms up like branches to the sky.
  6. Say to yourself I am strong and focused.
  7. Slowly bring the arms down and release the legs. Switch sides.